Don’t get me wrong. I love living with a toddler, and every stage of Porter’s life seems to get better than the last, but sometimes living with a toddler is downright hilarious and exhausting at the same time, and I know my life is about to get crazier in four short months. Here are my recent thoughts on being the mom of a toddler.
P.S. The pictures that accompany this post have nothing to do with the content, but a post without pictures is boring.
You know you live with a toddler when…
1. You find objects and/or food left in odd places.
Porter is notorious for this. He has this race track toy that we used to keep downstairs in our living room. We just recently moved it upstairs to the play room, but when we had it downstairs, we would find the funniest things inside. Once I found a half eaten string cheese. He also loves playing with David’s watch and flashlight that he keeps in his nightstand. Those made common appearances in the race track, too, but now that the race track is upstairs, he’s been forced to be a little more creative. I recently found the flashlight in a “hands off” cabinet that Porter normally gets in trouble for going into. It has glass dishes and vases inside, and I probably should just move those, but I haven’t gotten around to it. There are still little pieces of toys that we have been missing for months that haven’t shown up. Lord only knows where those are.
2. You get jabbed in the eye multiple times a day.
Porter is learning new things every single day, and while I love witnessing what he has learned, sometimes he takes it a little far. Recently Porter LOVES to point out eyes, ears, head, nose, mouth, and cheek. He’s known these words for awhile, but used to just point to his own, but now he takes any moment he can to jab us in the eye or ear without any notice. We might be sitting on the couch watching Peppa Pig (this is his favorite tv show and he would watch it for hours on end if we would let him) and all of a sudden he’ll get an urge to jab you in the eye while saying “eye!” It’s adorable, yes, but sometimes I wish he was a bit more gentle. He sometimes does it to Maggie, too. It will be interesting as we try to teach him that it’s not okay to poke the baby in the eye…
3. Your house is never really clean. Ever.
This one is pretty self explanatory, and I usually like to keep a pretty neat and orderly house, but in the past several months, I just can’t make it happen. Even after I spend several hours cleaning and get it looking “pretty good,” it is royally messed up the next day. David tells me I just need to “let it go,” but I just can’t. And no matter what, there is always either laundry to do or clean laundry to be put away.
4. You understand a secret language that others can’t.
Porter is learning more and more words all the time, and it seems like each day he says something new. He still babbles quite a bit and sometimes I don’t understand a word that he is saying, but other times, I know exactly what he wants or needs, even though what he’s saying doesn’t sound anything like the actual word or phrase. Porter has learned so much as a result of going to speech therapy, and I love hearing him practice new words and phrases.
5. You bribe your child.
I don’t like to admit that I do this, but I do. These days I don’t go to the grocery store or Target without a snack and drink in hand. Otherwise, it would be meltdown city. I’ve also bribed him with cookies on a number of occasions. It’s difficult to get a good picture of Porter these days as he simply doesn’t stop moving. It was impossible to get a good picture of him in front of the Christmas tree this year, and I was holding a cookie in one hand while snapping pictures with the other. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but a mom’s gotta do, what a mom’s gotta do.
6. Kid songs get stuck in your head.
For whatever reason this seems to be happening more to me lately. The other night I could not fall asleep because I was constantly singing the Paw Patrol song in my head. Porter rarely even watches Paw Patrol, and I don’t even know if he’s ever sat and watched an entire episode, so I have no idea why that was the song that my brain decided to focus on, but it was terrible. The song to Sofia the First gets in my head, too, which again, is a show that Porter doesn’t even watch.
7. Your child cries over things that he loved yesterday (or even minutes ago).
This is one of the funniest and most frustrating things about toddlerhood. Temper tantrums are real, and we’ve been experiencing them in full force. Porter loves sausage links and whenever we make them, he can’t get enough of them. He recently threw a royal fit when we put some on his plate when the day before he ate four at breakfast. He also has been known to ask for something and then cry when you give it to him. The other day he asked for juice and cried once I gave it to him. He finally told me that he wanted “Water!” in between sobs, and I couldn’t help but to think Seriously, child? You just asked for juice.
8. You never know if your child will eat a meal or not.
We have been blessed in that Porter has always been a pretty good eater. When we started baby led weaning around 6 months old, we used to get so many comments between 6 months and a year about how good of an eater he was, and he still is for the most part, but there are some days when he just refuses to eat certain meals. Usually it’s dinner, and you should see the fit he throws when we try to get him to sit in his high chair. He becomes stiff as a board and his limbs won’t bend and he screams like you wouldn’t believe. In between crying and screaming, he usually yells “All done!” or “All done please!” even though he hasn’t actually eaten anything. Yesterday he refused to eat lunch. For awhile we thought he was over his high chair, so we busted out our booster seat and now we let him choose between the two. He still chooses his high chair 99% of the time. We also moved dinnertime back thinking that maybe he just wasn’t hungry, and while that seemed to help some, there are still some nights when he just refuses to eat at all.
9. Naps are questionable.
Again, we’ve been blessed that Porter has always been a really good sleeper, even as a newborn, but lately, you never know if he’s going to decide to take a nap or not. The other day when I put him down for a nap, he cried about choo choos and trains for about an hour before I finally just gave in and went and got him.
10. Everything is a toy (and everything is his.)
Maggie doesn’t have toys anymore. They’re all his, though he does occasionally share and throw them for her. He especially likes her balls and throws them all over the house. He also likes to roll around on Maggie’s bed which is just lovely. I’m not sure if I actually own anything that he doesn’t think is his. He definitely thinks he has a right to anything electronic, but he also always finds a way to get his hands on my nail polish and makeup. Oh, and if I want a snack, I better count on sharing it with him. It doesn’t matter if I give him the exact same thing, he wants mine.
11. Silence is scary.
Most of the time, when it’s silent or just a little too quiet, it’s not a good sign. Just when I think that there isn’t possibly anything left for Porter to get into, he surprises me and finds something new. However, there have also been plenty of times when it’s a little too quiet and I find him quietly playing by himself. Most of the time, though, silence = trouble.
12. You don’t think your heart could get any bigger.
Despite the exhaustion and crazy times, I just can’t get enough of this kid. He makes my heart so full, and I’ve never laughed or smiled more in my life than I have in the past two years. The “mamas” and the hugs and kisses never get old, and while there have definitely been times when I’m counting down until bedtime, most of the time, I’m wishing I could stop time completely.